Saturday, June 30, 2007

USTAD BISMILLAH KHAN TO PERFORM AT DARBHANGA

New Delhi, April. 7, 2006 (PTI) : A much-cherished desire of Shahnai legend Ustad Bismillah Khan, who recently turned 91, will be fulfilled when he performs for the first time at the historical India Gate in the national capital later this year.The performance by the legendary Khan will be held in July as part of the movement 'Bismillah: The Beginning' launched to benefit musicians, academicians and artistes who have brought laurels to the country, the organisers said.The Shahnai maestro, who lives in a narrow lane of Sarai Harha in the temple town of Varanasi, had expressed as his "last wish" on his 91st birthday the desire to perform at the India Gate in New Delhi and at Darbhanga in Bihar.Conferred with all four of the top national awards -- Padma Shri, Padma Bhushan, Padma Vibhushan and Bharat Ratna -- Khan had played Shahnai at the Red Fort on August 15, 1947. Mithila University Vice-Chancellor Rajmani Prasad Singh is organising the Ustad's programme in Darbhanga some time next month. Khan has spent a considerable part of his life in Darbhanga.Khan celebrated his 91st birthday in Varanasi last month, cutting a 91-kg cake brought by by his admirers. The 'Bismillah: The Beginning' movement has been launched by Delhi-based journalist couple of Neena Jha and Shivnath Jha. The two, who run a publication in New Delhi, also presented the 'ustad' a monograph of his life, promising him royalties from the book as a "token contribution" to help him lead a comfortable life as also a silver shehnai weighing three kg in recognition of his contribution to classical music.

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